Family/Local History Enquiry?

If you have a question about your ancestors Stockton Reference Library’s team may be able to help you with your family history, or with your questions about the local area.

The Reference Library can provide free access to family history websites including Ancestry and Find My Past. We also hold church records for Stockton and the surrounding area, historical maps, local trade directories and electoral registers.

If you’re looking for a newspaper article – we have local newspapers as far back as 1855 which can be viewed on microfilm in our Family History Suite.

We provide one to one help sessions and also a free introductory family history course to help with your research.

Please visit the Reference Library within Stockton Central Library or contact us on 01642 528079 or email: reference.library@stockton.gov.uk

507 thoughts on “Family/Local History Enquiry?

  1. Hi folks, i never knew my grandad, he died 1939, no photo of him was ever passed down that i know of, my grandad lived in Housewife lane before great war, he joined Kings Own Scottish Boderers in 1912 with his mate Pat Sullivan who also lived in Housewife lane, Stockton. My grandad was with 3rd Battalion Special Reserve, at the outbreak of war my grandad was sent to join 2nd Battalion K.O.S.B. 4 weeks after B. E. F. landed in France, some time in early October my grandad was brought back to the UK, he had been wounded by a dum-dum bullet, after recovering he was sent to join 1st Battalion in Gallipoli, after that campaign was called off, he was sent back into France for the start of the Somme offensive, 1st July grandad went over the top, he was badly wounded for the 2nd time, he was discharged 1918. My grandad married my gran Beatrice Warhurst Kirk 6th June 1917. My grandad was Robert Casey. Pte 6371 K. O. S . B. I would like to ask families whose grandads & great grandads who fought with Kings Own Scottish Borderes to see if any photo’s may have been taken in time leading up to great war starting, perhaps a photo might exist with soldiers names, no small miricle after all these years but! You never know.
    All the best to all.
    Derek

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  2. My great grandfather’s resistance was Cambridge street portrack when he died in 1941 but for the life of me I can’t find it on any maps,any help would be appreciated

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  3. Good Afternoon, I hope someone can help my mother worked at BRS in 1954, and was friendly with a work colleague called Frank Evans, he would have been possibly 42 years old then, I would be grateful if anyone has any information on him, or where I might look.
    Kind Regards
    Paul Grossman

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  4. Hi I’ve just recently lost my dad, and come to realise I know hardly anything about his parents, upon going through his paperwork it’s come to light that he had brothers and a sister. Any information you could find who help with my search. My dads name was Frederick Cunningham born 23/06/1937 in Goole, his dad went by the same name and I have no idea what my grandma was called. Hope you can help.

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    • Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      I have found an entry for the birth of a Frederick Cunningham in the September quarter of 1937 in the district of Goole. The entry shows his mother’s maiden name as also Cunningham. Looking on the marriage index I have found a Frederick Cunningham marrying a Hannah Cunningham in the December quarter of 1930 in the district of Goole.

      Looking on the birth index for potential siblings, I found Margaret, registered in the September quarter of 1933, I also found a Margaret Cunningham on the death index for 1936. Other potential siblings include Walter (1934) and Richard (1938).
      I believe that I may have found the family on the 1939 Register, living in Scunthorpe. There are two entries for the family, one which shows five members (Fred, Hannah, Walter, Frederick and Richard), however these entries have been crossed out.

      The other entry shows Fred and Hannah, however the records below are closed. I have sent both pages from the Register to your email.

      Unfortunately I am unable to say for certain that this is the correct record for your father, as his date of birth on the Register is given as 29 July 1937. Hopefully your father’s siblings are named in his paper work and can confirm if these are the correct records.

      I hope that this information is of some help.

      Kind regards,
      Hannah

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    • Hi Julie,
      Thank you for your enquiry.

      I have found an entry of birth for a Frederick Cunningham registered in the September quarter of 1937 in the district of Goole. The entry shows his mother’s maiden name as also Cunningham. Looking on the marriage index I have found a Frederick Cunningham marrying a Hannah Cunningham in the December quarter of 1930 in the district of Goole.

      Looking on the birth index for potential siblings, I found Margaret, registered in the September quarter of 1933, I also found a death for a Margaret Cunningham (aged 2 years) in 1936. Other potential siblings include Walter (1934) and Richard (1938).

      I believe that I may have found the family on the 1939 Register, living in Scunthorpe. There are two entries for the family, both at 25 Princess Street. One shows five members (Fred, Hannah, Walter, Frederick and Richard), however these entries have been crossed out. The second entry shows Fred and Hannah, however the records below are closed. I have sent both pages from the Register to your email.

      Unfortunately I am unable to say for certain that this is the correct record for your father, as his date of birth on the Register is given as 29 July (this could have been written in error?). Hopefully your father’s siblings are named in the paperwork that you have and can confirm if these are the correct records.

      I hope that this information is of some help.

      Kind regards,
      Hannah

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  5. My distant relatives use to own McNaughton Steam Laundry in Bishopton Lane years ago. Was wondering whether that building still stands today if so what building is it now?

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  6. Hi I am looking on behalf of my mam Rosina Oliver who lost her mam at the age of 11 years old. She never really knew any of her Mam’s family. A little information would be great if you could possibly find out. Her mothers name was Elizabeth McNally who married Arthur Oliver who DOB is 25/9/1899. Amy information would be appreciated.
    Thank you Jane Parkinson

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    • Jane, Elizabeth McNally was born in 1902 to Francis William McNally and Margaret Alice McNally (nee Wood).
      Margaret gave birth to 16 children, though by 1911 only 6 were still living, including Elizabeth. Francis, or Frank as he was known, was from Dublin. In 1901 the family were living at 16 Thistle Green, and in 1911 their address was 32 The Square, both in the old part of Stockton, behind the parish church. Frank McNally died in 1914, and left a Will leaving all his money £600 to his daughter Margaret. I have been unable to trace what happened to the family after Frank’s death, but the recently released 1921 Census may contain some answers.

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    • Hi Jane, I was brought up in Swainby Road & Danby Road, Arthur’s daughter Mary lived with my uncle Franky Casey, 4 of their children are my full cousins, I remember Mary’s sister Rosie, would she be your nana or have I got this wrong?
      Bonca, Paul, Ian & Lindy, we lived at 155, Swainby Road in those days, great road for kids to grow up in, next door to us the Wilsons, can still real out all the names of the families who lived in Swainby.
      All the best.
      Derek.

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  7. Can anyone give me any information on John McGuinness (b.1888) and Christina (b.1892) they lived in Kingston Street, Stockton-on-Tees in 1940/50?? They had 1 daughter Winnifred (my nana)

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  8. My Great Grandfather Joseph Gould was born in Markinch, Fife, and was a police officer in Stockton in 1901. My Grandfather John Greener Gould was a foreman iron founder at Brown Brothers until the late 1940s. If anyone has information about my ancestors please post it here. Thanks John Gould

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    • Hello, I have carried out a little bit of research and found that your Gt. Grandfather Joseph Gould was born about 1845 in Markinch, Scotland. In 1911 he is a retired police inspector, living at no. 1 Paradise Place, Stockton with his wife Ruth, born about 1846 in Ovingham, Northumberland. With them are 3 daughters (all school teachers) Mary, Jane & Catherine.
      Joseph’s father was David Gould/Gold, (a groom in 1871) born about 1821 in Leauchars, Scotland. His mother Mary was born about 1817 in Markinch. Ruth’s maiden name was Greener, and her father was John Greener, born about 1813 in Ovingham, Northumberland. On the 1871 Census they are living at Hill Houses, North Hylton. I hope this helps with your research.

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  9. Hello,

    I happened to google my Grandad’s name and came upon a thread on here where his name has come up, his name was Alan Darley and he was from Norton. I’m hoping to learn some family history, and hoping the gentlemen who commented on the other thread, who had known and worked with my Grandad might see this.

    Thanks

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    • Hi Katie, I did not know your Grandad, but I can tell you a little of his ancestors.
      Alan was born 13 December 1938 to Albert and Wilhelmina Darley.
      Alan was their second child, as he had an older sister, Mabel, born in 1932.
      Albert Darley had married Wilhelmina Patterson in late 1931. Albert was an electric crane driver at a steelworks.
      Albert was born on 14 February 1903, the son of Smith Darley and Sarah Ann Wall.
      They had married at Darlington on 16 April 1895. Albert had an older brother William born in 1897.
      I believe that the Darley family can be traced back over many generations to Farnham in Yorkshire in the 1600s!

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  10. Hi, I left Tilery road boys school Christmas 1962, I started work as an apprentice iron moulder at Head Wrightsons, Eaglescliffe, at this time they were making segments, type you see on lo don underground etc, whole squads along entire foundry floor, labourers would make the drags (bottom of mould) others would make the top, moulders would take segment patterns out and put cores in mould, I made little key segments with a moulder called Colin Castle (Cass) along side of me one of the labourers making drags found out I was a Casey (my surname) he was I found out later was a Jobson (don’t know first name) he lived in Thornaby. I’m sure, I now believe he was connected to my great aunt Hannah Lyons Casey who married Robert Jobson and had 11 children, I’m convinced he was from this couple, I’m now 75 yrs old, I think the lad I’m talking about would be mid 80s? Is their any Jobson out there who can relate to this and know of a Casey connection? I would love to hear from you. All the best to all.
    Derek.

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    • Please can you provide some more details about Joyce to assist in finding her. Was Lewis her maiden or married name? When was the last time you saw her, and how old would she have been then? Do you know the names of her parents or any brothers and sisters? Thanks.

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  11. Hi, I am trying to find out some more information about Jane May B 1878 D 1940. I have that she had a son, James May B 1897, then married William David Porter in 1902 and had another son William David Porter B 1902, then a daughter Jane Porter B1904. WD Porter (Snr.) passed away 1909 and she married John Henry Laverick (B 1879 D 1914) in 1909 and they went on to have 3 children.

    In the 1911 Census Jane is living at 2 Unthanks Yard in Stockton with JH Laverick, her children from previous marriages but also William George Hindmarsh who is listed as Foster Father (crossed out). According to the 1901 census, she was previously his domestic servant.

    Does any one have any information on Jane’s parents or why she was adopted by Mr Hindmarsh?

    Thank you.

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    • Sarah, that is quite a mystery you are trying to unravel. The name of Jane’s father should be on her birth certificate, and on her marriage certificate, copies of which you can buy from Stockton Register Office. But if it is not on her birth certificate, I wouldn’t bother buying the one for her marriage. As for Mr Hindmarsh, it looks as if Jane had been a servant to him for so long that he treated her as a daughter, As she was 24 years old in 1901, surely she was too old to have been formally adopted?

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  12. I’m looking for any information on my late grandfather, William Thompson DOB 21st June 1903 at Browns Row, Norton. I have a copy of his Birth Certificate with mother’s name as Elizabeth Ann Thompson but no father’s name. His army records give his next of kin as his mother at Berkeley Square Norton but I can’t find anything about her there. Army records also state he was at Earls House Industrial School when he signed up as a boy in 1918.

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    • Shona, the absence of a father’s name on William’s birth certificate suggests that his mother was unmarried when he was born. The reference to the Earl’s House Industrial School is interesting. This school was built in the late 19th century at Witton Gilbert, north west of the city of Durham. Boys who were sent to this school had usually been placed under detention by the courts. The industrial school taught the boys a trade that they might follow when they left the school.
      So William appears to have had a tough start in life.

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  13. Hi I’m looking for any information about a house fire number 90 Trafalgar Street around 1936 with a baby inside my nana and grandad Lillian and Harold Jobson lived there and the baby was my mother Iris Jobson

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  14. My Dad was Kenneth Milburn. Born Thornaby July 15 1926. I am looking for his Father Ernest he was a railway worker. I need to make a memorial plaque for Dads grave with his Dad and Mother birth and death dates. Any help would grateful. Thanks.

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    • Hello Andrew,

      The entry for your dad, Kenneth, on the birth index shows that his mother’s maiden name was Adie. From this we have found a marriage between an Ernest Milburn and a Euphemia F. Adie which took place in the December quarter of 1910.

      Using this information we have found both Ernest and Euphemia on the 1939 Register which states that Ernest was born 3 July 1889 and Euphemia was born 5 February 1888. After narrowing down an approximate date of death using Stockton Register Offices’ website (www.stockton.gov.uk/register-office) we found that Ernest died on 22 October 1968 and was buried in Stockton’s Durham Road Cemetery on 26 October 1968. Euphemia died on 24 December 1971 and was buried in Stockton’s Durham Road Cemetery on 28 December 1971.

      If you are local to the Stockton area it may be worth visiting Durham Road Cemetery to confirm these dates against Ernest’s and Euphemia’s headstones. I believe that Stockton’s Bereavement Services can provide plot numbers/areas and we hold plans for that cemetery. You can contact us on reference.library@stockton.gov.uk if you would like a copy.

      I hope that this information is of some help.

      Kind regards,
      Hannah

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        • Hi my Dad John Milburn I believe will have been your Dads brother. Ernest & Euphemia we’re my grand parents they lived in a railway cottage in Norton. There was also another brother Sydney and a sister called Mary. Ernest was a railway signal man hence the railway cottage and Euphemia came from Edinburgh I can remember once visiting our Scottish relatives with my Dad think I was about 10 I’m 63 now so have a bit of memory fog lol regards John.

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          • Thanks. Just spotted. Will show my Sister. If any one else has memories please share. Mum and Dad are buried at St Eatas Church Atcham Shrewsbury Shropshire. They both had Dementia Dad died 2014 Mum 2920. We miss them both terribly. They settled in Atcham from 1970 .

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  15. Hi,
    Just wondering if anybody went to school with any of the HICKS family or worked with them or if anyone can remember the Hicks family at all , in 1939 census lived at 2 mile farm can anybody remember them please.

    Kind regards
    Bev

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  16. Would love any information of my Great Grandad Heritage, George Street in Thornaby. My Grandad John Thompson helped him in teaching children how to fish. I am told he had a great picture of my Great Grandad with all his trophies in his parlour on George Street

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  17. Hi, I am looking for my family history, my ancestors were the Boundry family from 160 Norton Street, my nana Mary was the daughter of the family who lost their lives to the fatal bombing on 15 August 1941, I know my nana knew someone called Rose from that area as she took me to visit her but that’s all I remember, I would be really grateful if there is any more info on the family, I have the names of the names and DOB of the rest of the family but that’s all, thanks

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      • Census records show that there were no members of the Boundry family living on Teesside in 1891, 1901, 1911 or 1939. The surname Boundry is unusual and quite rare, and appears to come from the south of England.

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  18. Hi
    Two of my ancestors were born in the Mother and Baby unit on Windmill Terrace, Norton, in the early 1900s. Does anyone have any information about the home?

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    • As Varo does appear to be a surname, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the name of a councillor/mayor/dignitary/notable person. I assume that’s where Skinner St. & Hutchinson St. get their names, among other suspects 🙂

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  19. Anyone know, got photos of my dad from Mill Lane junior school, in the 50s. He was 12 in 1951.
    His name was George Bryan Broadbent, but went by Bryan all the time I knew him.

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  20. I’m looking for information on a F Nagri who signed most of the children’s death certificates in 1965. My sister born 11 May 1965, died 26 July at 10 weeks and 5 days. The death certificate says 8 weeks. I though these were supposed to be accurate. But was told from London Head Medical that there was no registered registrar by the name Nagri in 1965, so I’m at a loss. Can anyone help?

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  21. Vera Mcintyre worked for Hintons for many years at the Dovecot Street branch. She married a John Lenham in 1950 and there the story stops.

    Who were Vera and John, where did they come from and where did they go?

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    • David, I have checked the register of births and cannot find any children born to Vera and John in the years immediately after their marriage. I have also found the death of a John Lenham (b.1928) who died in April 1954. He is buried in Oxbridge Lane cemetery. If that John was Vera’s husband, it might explain why you cannot find any trace of the couple after their marriage.

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  22. I wonder if you can help me with a query about my Ripley ancestors in Stockton? The 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census shows them living in York Street, Stockton, near the town centre (no. 24 in 1851, no. 23 in 1861). Are there any old photos of York Street showing the street before the old houses were demolished? My great-great-grandfather John Ripley (1829-1898) spent his early life in Stockton, and served his apprenticeship as a bookbinder and machine ruler there, presumably in the 1840s. Any idea where he might have served his apprenticeship?

    Christopher Eva
    Lurøy, Norway

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  23. John ‘Jacky’ Lenham (137620) served in WW1 with Machine Gun Corps and was promoted to Sgt. In WW2 he was Rgt Sgt Major with 8th Bn, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. In 1940 he was promoted to Lieutenant (QM). In 1941 he was transferred to the Reconnaissance Corps.
    Where and when was he born? Was it 1893 in Stockton? Is he related to the Lenham family in Stockton?

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    • Hello,
      Searching through the World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards on Ancestry, I could only find one entry for a John Lenham who had served with the Machine Gun Corps. This John Lenham had the number 2667 whilst serving with the 5th Lancers and the number 41512 whilst serving with the Machine Gun Corps. His date of entry into war is given as 15 August 1914.

      I also found an entry for a John Lenham in the Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records which are available on Find My Past. The record provides the following information:

      ‘A’ No. – 7815838
      Date of Attestation: 18/04/1910 in Stockton-on-Tees
      Transferred from 5th Lancers on 19/01/1922
      Occupation on enlistment: Labourer
      Town/Parish: Parkfield, Stockton-on-Tees
      Spouse: May Gould, married 7/08/1919 in Rhyl, Flint
      Child: John Edgar, born 16/10/1925 in Cologne, Germany.
      Campaigns: The Great War, France 15/08/1914 to 6/12/1916, 12/03/1917 to 27/01/1919.
      It looks like John joined/transferred to the RE/Northumberland Fusiliers on 30/05/1939 and was sent to Edinburgh on 12/06/1939.

      Using this information, I have found the marriage parish record for John and May which showed John’s father to be Charles Lenham, a shipwright. From this I was able to find an entry for John and his father, Charles, on the 1901 census living at 24 Edwards Street, Stockton. John’s birth year is given as approximately 1893/1894. There is an entry on the birth index for a John Lenham registered in the September quarter of 1893 in the district of Stockton.

      Could this be the John ‘Jacky’ Lenham that you are looking for?

      If you would like a copy of any of the records that we have found please email Stockton Reference Library at reference.library@stockton.gov.uk.

      Kind regards,
      Hannah

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      • Thank you for this fascinating research, but I’m afraid he’s not related as far as I know to the Stockton Lenham’s. If I do find a link I’ll let you know.

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  24. I would like to find a photo of my Dad Geoffrey Shaw who worked at Shaw’s cast steel foundry Middlesbrough and in the war commanded 608 squadron at Thornaby and my Godfather another Yorkshire man who commanded before him but then transferred to 609 at Yeadon aerodrome. They were both too old for flying Spitfires in the Battle of Britain but both joined the Auxiliary Airforce together when it was formed in 1924.

    Come WW2, Dad was awarded the DFC for some engagement over the N.Sea in an Anson, did time in the War office in London and then hunted U-boats in the Med with US Catalina aircraft. Godfather Geoffrey was given the “air security of Scotland “ by Churchill’s Air Minister Viscount Thurso, with no resources at all. He badgered the chain home radar people to extend coverage from coastal aerodromes in Norway to the Fleet anchorage in Scapa Flow and surveyed Spitfire landing sites midway between. He became Commandant of the Observer Corps and organised their effectiveness against low flying intruders and had regular contact with the Shetland Bus Co who smuggled agents in/out of Norway gathering Intelligence. When the Battle of Britain was won he got hold of spitfires flying the first from Eastleigh Southampton himself with the instruction book on his knee, worked out tactics against the Condor spy planes and taught his first pick pilot himself. He transferred to the RAF, did a stint at Bentley Priory and finished as an Air vice marshall.
    I think one or both were present when the king inspected 608 at Thornaby Many thanks if you can turn something up about that occasion.

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    • Hello

      I have a couple of photos of Thornaby RAF Station taken in the late 1930s, one shows King George VI alighting from an aeroplane on his visit to RAF Thornaby, the other shows an aircrew.

      I have uploaded them to this location:-

      https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ajpj0BgkXQUQgzw9CkphA4CobzcQ?e=gXaf8H

      Feel free to download them.

      I have a few other photos of aircraft at the base during the 1930s.

      I also have a photo of the Shetland Bus Memorial in Alesund Norway, I took this in 2008 whilst visiting Norway. I am quite proud of this shot as it is one of very few that I have taken that was a competition winner.

      My Grandfather joined the fledgling RAF in 1924 and was discharged in 1937 and immediately re- joined and served through the war until his final discharge in 1945.

      I can be contacted at billinghamlad@gmial.com

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      • Hello

        Many thanks for trying to send me your photographs, unfortunately I have made a mistake with my email address, this is it corrected.

        billinghamlad@gmail.com

        My grandfather served at RAF Thornaby in the early days of WWII and his daughter, my aunt, is interested in finding out as much as possible about his service record.

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  25. My great grandfather James Arthur Shaw was buried in Oxbridge cemetery Stockton-on-Tees in or around December 1953 – any idea how I find his plot?

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  26. I am researching my family history and I believe my Great Grandmother attended the people’s mission in Thornaby and possibly the missions sisterhood in the 1960’s /early 1970’s. Her name was Elizabeth (Betty) Bainbridge formally Wright and I believe she may have attended with her sister in law Dolly Wright / Bainbridge or Edie Wright/Bainbridge. I would be extremely grateful for any information you could provide.
    Kind regards.

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    • Ancestry UK – Peter Gales Family Tree – Member: JanetGibson50

      Elizabeth Jane Wright
      born 03 Jun 1897 – died 3 May 1989 [Abbey Wood, Whinney Hill, Stockton on Tees]
      Percy Lancelot Bainbridge – married 1915
      born 17 Jun 1891 [Thornaby]
      died 25 Aug 1969 [Abbey Wood, Whinney Hill, Stockton-on-Tees]
      Dorothy Dennison – Dolly ?
      born 10 Mar 1887 [Stockton-on-Tees]
      died 06 Feb 1967 [35 Millbank Lane, Thornaby on Tees]
      William Alfred Bainbridge – married 1905
      born 22 Jan 1885 [Thornaby]
      died 25 Aug 1955 [Stockton & Thornaby Hospital, Stockton on Tees]

      1911 Census
      Father – George Wright b1865 [occupation – Waggon wright]
      Mother – Hannah Wright b1865
      Susanna Morgon Wright b1895
      Elizabeth Jane Wright
      Edith Wright b1901
      George Edward Wright b1903
      Millie Wright b1905

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    • Hello Christine, thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately the Reference Library doesn’t hold any records for the People’s Mission, therefore we are unable to help you with this. You could contact North Yorkshire Record Office or Teesside Archives who may have some information.

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    • Hello Christine. I was interested to see your post about your great grandmother attending the People’s Mission in Thornaby. Dolly Wright was my aunt – me and my siblings lived with her and uncle George from 1963. Edie was Elizabeths sister and there was also Millie.
      I have many fond memories of going to the Mission with Auntie Dolly on a Sunday and in school holidays during the week when the Sisterhood met. I also used to visit Lizzie – as she was known to us – at her little farm in Whinney Hill. Her husband was called Percy as was their son. I also remember a lady called Maureen but was never sure what relation she was to Lizzie. Hope this is of interest to you.

      Christine Mothersdale

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      • Hi, Christine

        Yes this is my family that I’m looking into, Maureen was my mam. I would love to hear more of what you know.

        Thank you for your response.

        Like

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